Zoom in Details
In Tel Aviv, the Urban95 programme is managed from within the municipal government structure and coordinated by one full-time dedicated position with the crucial role of ensuring cross-agency collaboration.
- Government Agencies Engaged:
- Community Planning & Development, Education, Health, Parks and Gardens, Social Development, Transportation, Urban Development
- Implementing Agency:
- Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality
- Funding Source:
- Bernard van Leer Foundation
- City-wide. The coordinating position covers Urban95 programmes across departments and for the entire municipality.
- Implementation action in focus:
- Build your team
- Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
- Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality
Summary of Intervention/Programme
The role of project manager for Urban95 includes overseeing the programme components and budget. The person who holds this position is a municipal employee embedded in the Department for Community Planning & Development.
“We managed to lead a revolution in the municipality that placed early childhood at highest priority of the municipality’s agenda.” – Ronit Ferber, Director of the Community, Sports and Culture Administration, Municipality of Tel Aviv – Yafo, Israel.
By being an insider, their impact is sustained over time as they develop personal relationships within the municipality and with technical partners in Israel and abroad. They also act as reference on the early years for their colleagues, and help build their interest in the topic.
The role focuses on building collaborations mechanisms between city departments to implement a holistic response to children’s needs. For example, the first person to hold this role spearheaded a collaboration between the community department and social services department to establish a basket of parenting services delivered in both of their respective community centres and maternal health centres. This allowed to multiply access points for these services now available in both centres instead of only one or the other, which reduced significantly the distance and time needed for families to reach them.
What worked well
Working from within supports ownership
By being a staff of the municipality, the Urban95 manager has more access and agency than as an external consultant or temporary technical partner would. Being able to slowly build trusting relationship helps with sustaining change, while being embedded also creates a reference point on early childhood for the general staff.
Efficient cross-sectoral collaboration
Having a coordinating role within the municipality is key to enhance effective collaboration on a day to day basis – to organise meetings and keep the topic moving – but also to hold everyone accountable. The first project manager for Urban95 and her managers also managed to ‘glue’ the team together through frequent meetings, workshops and training sessions, such as the 3-day Urban95 Study Tour to Copenhagen, which led to increased group motivation and reduced perception of risk for, allowing for rapid implementation.
A coordinating role within the municipality allows to follow implementation from close, and to adapt and iterate more often if needed, therefore increasing efficiency of implementation. It also ensures that everyone’s contribution fits within a larger plan and strategy, and that external technical assistance comes at the right moment.